Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1994. Capella International, Cinehaus, Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Robert Benton, based on the novel by Richard Russo. Cinematography by John Bailey. Produced by Arlene Donovan, Scott Rudin. Music by Howard Shore. Production Design by David Gropman. Costume Design by Joseph G. Aulisi. Film Editing by John Bloom. Academy Awards 1994. Golden Globe Awards 1994. National Board of Review Awards 1994. New York Film Critics Awards 1994.
Terrific family drama, with Paul Newman as a construction worker who abandoned wife and kids decades earlier when life got too complicated for him. Now he lives blocks away from his family in a rooming house with an old lady (Jessica Tandy) who believes that he still might one day live up to his potential. The cast is uniformly brilliant, and Robert Benton’s direction is backed up by his fantastic script about this small town where everyone lives a big life in a small way, where no one is a hero or a villain but people muddle through as best they can. Melanie Griffith has a wonderful supporting role as the girl who was once the town beauty and is now unhappily married to the head of the construction company (Bruce Willis) who can’t be bothered with her.